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back to project tree project treeamazing trees

How many trees are there in the world? That’s a really interesting question, but a very difficult one to answer: since trees in the wild are dropping seeds and new shoots are growing up all the time, how do we know which ones to count as proper trees? Still, satellites looking down at the earth can take pictures from which, with some clever maths, we can get a rough idea of the amount of forest and fully grown trees on the planet, and the answer, as you’d expect is a very big number indeed.

The estimate by the scientist of NASA in 2005 is that there are approximately 400,000,000,000 trees (that’s 400 billion) trees on earth, which means that there are approximately 57 trees for each person! Overall 30% of the world’s landmass is covered in forest.

It’s not surprising that with so many trees in the world there are some pretty amazing trrees out there if you know where to look, and we have brought together a selection of some truly extraordinary trees for you to look at here…

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The Largest Tree in the World

In Sequoia National park in California, USA stands General Sherman, currently recognised as the largest tree by volume in the world.

It has been growing for between 2300 and 2700 years, and is 84m (276ft) tall, 31m (102ft) in circumference, and has a volume of 1487 cubic metres. That’s equivalent to over 16 double decker buses.

A Bandit's Hideout

In Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire stands the Major Oak, now over 1000 year’s old, and said to have once been the hiding place in its hollow interior for Robin Hood and his men.

Weighing over 23 tons, wooden (and now steel) poles were added to hold up its ancient branches.

The Tree of Life

The baobab tree, which grows in the African savannah, is also known as ‘the tree of life’. Baobabs provide shelter, clothing, food, and water: the bark is used for making cloth and rope, the leaves provide medicines, and the edible fruit, called ‘monkey bread’, is full of Vitamin C.

Baobabs store up to 100,000 litres of water in their trunks to endure the harsh drought conditions in the regions where they grow.

Nature's Compass

The divi divi tree grows along the Caribbean, Central and South American coasts, where the strong trade winds, always blowing in the the same direction, mean that the tree grows sculpted permanently by the wind.

This makes the divi-divi tree a very reliable compass, always pointing southwest.

The Candle Wax Tree

Looking a little bit like dripping candle wax, Tetramedes nudiflora, found across southern Asia and northern Australia, can grow to immense size, and wraps its roots around anything in its way — including buildings, as here in the Angkor Wat temples of Cambodia.

A Tree You Can Drive Through

The Chandelier Tree in California is also known as the Drive-thru Tree, because over 80 years ago a tunnel was carved through its trunk which is big enough for cars to drive through.

The Chandelier Tree is a giant redwood or sequoia, like the General Sherman above. These giant trees have a root system that spreads out for up to 75 m (250 ft), entwining with the roots of neighboring trees to help ther stability.

The Dinosaur Tree

In 1994 in a remote valley in the Wollemi National Park, Australia an amazing discovery was made – several living trees of exactly the same type as exist in the fossil record from 200 million years ago – at the time of the earliest dinosaurs.

They were named Wollemia nobilis after the park where they were discovered, and David Noble, their intrepid discoverer.

The Trembling Giant

Known as Pando or The Trembling Giant, what look like thousands of individual trees growing over an area of 100 acres (40 hectares) in Utah, USA are in fact all growing from a single underground root system, and are part of one single organism.

With an estimated weight of 6600 tons and age
of 80,000 years Pando is a contender for both
the heaviest and oldest organism in the world.

The Stoutest Tree in the World

The Tule Tree, growing in the grounds of a Mexican church, is currently the stoutest tree in the world, with the circumference (the distance all the way around) of its trunk measuring 42m (138ft).

The Tule is a Montezuma Cyprus, and is believed to be 1400-1600 years old. Legend says that it was planted by Pechoca, an Aztec priest, and it is nicknamed ‘the Tree of Life’ after all the animal shapes that are said to be visible in its trunk.

The Rainbow Tree

The Eucalyptus deglupta tree sheds its bark in patches throughout the year, revealing the bright green inner bark neneath, which then darkens over time to gice an amazing rainbow of blue, purple, orange and maroon colours – and earning it the nickname ‘The Rainbow tree’.

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